According to new statistics from the Department of Homeland Security, the number of illegal immigrants who crossed the border in 2014 rose, while at the same time the amount of deportations dropped. With both legal and illegal immigration rates already incredibly high, the new data signals potential problems for each side of the immigration enforcement equation.
Apprehensions on the border, which Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson say are used to measure illegal immigration rates overall, rose by 16% in fiscal year 2014. At the same time, deportations from within the U.S. — which is used to measure how well the administration is going after long-time illegal immigrants — fell by 24%.
“This year’s statistics are informed by a number of complex and shifting factors, most notably the 68% increase in migration from countries other than Mexico, predominately from Central America, and a 14% drop in Mexican migration since fiscal year 2013,” said Johnson.
These numbers come as the latest edition in a recent string of bad years for illegal immigration. In 2012, a historical numeric high of nearly 41 million immigrants lived in the United States, an estimated 11.4 million or 28% of whom were illegal.
To make this most recent collection of data worse, it covers October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014, which means it’s all from before President Barack Obama announced his new temporary amnesty on November 20 — an act which is likely to lower deportation rates even more.
As for the immigrants who were deported, the administration said that about 87,000 of the 102,000 immigrants deported had criminal records, which means only about 15,000 rank-and-file illegal immigrants with no criminal records were deported. This, in turn, means that one illegal immigrant was deported for every 1,000 illegal immigrants living in the United States.
On the bright side, these are the type of numbers President Obama has actually been after, as he’s said before that he thought too many illegal immigrants with family and community ties were being deported. In other words, he’s thought the wrong type of illegal immigrant has been getting deported. In turn, he asked his agents to focus their efforts more on criminals and illegal immigrants who have recently crossed over.